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Peanut update shows improvement over 2022Peanut update shows improvement over 2022

Despite persisting drought and this summer's heat wave, the USDA-NASS crop report rated a little more than half of the Texas crop fair, 40% good, while 98% of the Oklahoma crop is rated good.

Ron Smith

August 23, 2023

2 Min Read
Brownfield, Texas, peanuts
Despite of this summer's heat wave and enduring two hail storms, these irrigated peanuts, planted on Kirk Martin's farm near Brownfield, Texas, are progressing well. Kirk Martin

Despite ongoing drought and heat stress, the Southwest peanut crop is faring better than at this time last year. Failed acreage is down in Texas and the percentage of the crop in both Texas and Oklahoma rated fair to good is well above 90%.

The USDA-NASS weekly crop report for the week ending August 13, rated the Texas crop with 95% in either the fair (55%) or good (40%) category. Only 2% rated excellent. The report ranked 3% of the crop as poor with zero rated very poor.

In Oklahoma, 100% of the crop rated fair (2%) to good (98%).

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Peanut Specialist Emi Kimura says failed acreage is down from 2022. “As of August 9th, a total of 219,620 acres was reported, of which 3,405 acres failed, mostly Spanish type varieties. During this same period in 2022, also a drought year, 19,924 acres were reported as failed acres.  This year seems to have fewer failed acres, compared to last year; however, the extreme drought and intensive heat (>105F) in July and August are not helping the peanuts.” 

The USDA-NASS report indicates 75% of the Texas crop is pegging. The average for this period is 80%. Last year at this time, pegging was rated at 65%.

In Oklahoma, peanut pegging is rated at 75% with an average of 77% and  67% a year ago.

Kimura says the National Weather Service reports Texas is losing about 2.4 to 2.6 inches of water weekly through evapotranspiration. “That indicates that we need more than the amount of irrigation water available to keep the peanut happy.”

She says Texas peanuts are currently at peak water demand. “Peak water usage for peanuts is during the fruiting periods, which typically occurs around 13 to 16 weeks after planting. Assuming that peanuts were planted in the first week of May, we are at peak bloom.” 

Best irrigation management recommendation, she says, is to “plant peanuts based on the irrigation capacity from the beginning. We typically get fall rain to finish off the crop.  

“In addition to the stressful weather conditions, weed pressure seems to be higher this year than the last year due to the rainfall we received in the May and June,” Kimura says.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith

Editor, Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

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